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Platform Computing Advances Cloud Computing for HPC

New cloud bursting capabilities will redirect peak workloads from internal HPC infrastructure to external cloud resources

Cloud Computing Journal

Platform Computing is expanding cloud computing capabilities for high performance computing (HPC) with two new offerings. The company announced the release of Platform ISF Adaptive Cluster, a product that dynamically changes the operating systems and personalities of compute nodes managed by Platform LSF and Platform Symphony. It effectively increases application capacity and resource utilization by consolidating heterogeneous application clusters and allows organizations to build an internal cloud for HPC. Platform Computing also announced new cloud bursting capabilities that will permit Platform HPC customers to seamlessly redirect peak workloads from their internal HPC infrastructure to external cloud resources on a pay-per-use basis in order to optimally meet service levels. Together, these offerings let HPC users take advantage of cloud computing by utilizing both internal private resources and external public cloud offerings.

"Our 17 years in the HPC industry have proven to us that the demand for compute resources will continue to grow exponentially, driving organizations to seek ways to maximize their existing infrastructures to meet increasing capacity needs," said Peter Nichol, General Manager, HPC Business Unit, Platform Computing. "It's clear that the future of HPC lies in cloud computing, which is why Platform is partnering with cloud leaders and developing its solution set to allow organizations to take full advantage of their existing infrastructure investments while capitalizing on the endless capacity of the cloud."

Platform ISF Adaptive Cluster
Platform ISF Adaptive Cluster is a new product offering in the Platform ISF family that enables organizations to create an internal cloud for running HPC applications and is integrated with Platform LSF and Platform Symphony. The product dynamically changes the operating system and associated application stack on demand thereby maximizing resource usage and service levels based on workload. It does this by automatically provisioning Linux and Windows operating systems from bare metal or initiating the right guest operating system within a virtual machine container on the compute nodes upon application demand.

To ensure application availability and guaranteed performance, many enterprises employ multiple HPC clusters, each assigned to run a specific application that requires either a Linux or Windows environment. Inevitably this results in cluster silos and "cluster sprawls" with low utilization and high management costs. Platform ISF Adaptive Cluster consolidates the previous application silos into an internal cloud environment that dynamically provisions Linux and Windows operating systems based on application demand to maximize resource usage and service levels. Utilization rates of separate server clusters typically ranging between 40 - 50 percent - can be increased to 80 - 90 percent.

"While the 30 - 50 percent improvement in cluster utilization rates speaks for itself, it's the fact that we're leveraging concepts from cloud computing and applying them to HPC cluster silos for optimization, that really demonstrates Platform's commitment to driving the next wave of HPC management software," said Jingwen Wang, Vice President Products, Platform Computing. "Our HPC customers in industries such as research, oil and gas, industrial manufacturing, and financial services will benefit dramatically from the improved HPC infrastructure agility by saving on hardware and operational costs, maximizing HPC resource utilization and improving their end-user productivity."

The Platform ISF Adaptive Cluster is available immediately and can be purchased directly from Platform or its resellers. For additional information please visit http://www.platform.com/Products/platform-isf/platform-isf-adaptive-cluster.

Cloud Bursting Capability
Delivered as a solution in the Platform ISF family, the new cloud bursting capability allows Platform HPC customers to access external cloud resources to offload peak workloads from internal HPC infrastructure on a pay-per-use basis. The new solution allows HPC users to use external resources while operating in a managed, private cloud environment as required by enterprise governance and compliance regulations. Platform is working with external cloud service providers to publish a machine image of the Platform HPC management software stack, which includes Platform LSF, Platform Symphony, Platform Cluster Manager and the new Platform MPI, to ensure Platform customers have a single, user-friendly interface to transparently leverage both their internal enterprise infrastructure for HPC and the external cloud for overflow.

With economic pressure forcing existing infrastructure to handle workload demands that often exceed capacity, many Platform customers are investigating alternative infrastructure models, such as cloud, to more effectively provision for peak workload spikes.

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